The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Monastery \Mon"as*te*ry\, n.; pl. Monasteries. [L.
monasterium, Gr. ?, fr. ? a solitary, a monk, fr. ? to be
alone, live in solitude, fr. mo`nos alone. Cf. Minister.]
A house of religious retirement, or of secusion from ordinary
temporal concerns, especially for monks; -- more rarely
applied to such a house for females.
Syn: Convent; abbey; priory. See Cloister.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: the residence of a religious community